Real Madrid are to appeal Sergio Ramos’ sending off at Osasuna on Saturday, with coach Carlo Ancelotti facing a defensive selection crisis ahead of this weekend’s La Liga trip to Valencia.
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Ramos received a club record 18th red card during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Osasuna, first being shown a yellow for a trip on Rojillo winger Alvaro Cejudo before receiving his marching orders soon after catching midfielder Roberto Torres with a raised arm.
The Spain international claimed that contact with Torres had been accidental, and felt especially hard done by as TV pictures suggested the incident that led to his first booking was not even a foul.
Madrid are keen to get the dismissal overturned as Pepe is also suspended for next weekend, while Raphael Varane is still sidelined with ongoing knee problems. That means versatile youngster Nacho Fernandez and full-back Alvaro Arbeloa would be Ancelotti’s only centre-back options for next Sunday’s game at Mestalla.
AS says Madrid are confident an appeal will be successful, with Ramos previously seeing a sending off for two yellows -- at Villarreal during the 2011-12 season -- overturned.
Speaking after Saturday’s game, Ancelotti said he was baffled by the decision-making of referee Carlos Clos Gomez, who also denied Madrid a clear penalty for a foul on Luka Modric early in the game, and evened up the numbers by sending off Osasuna’s Franisco Silva later in the game.
“It is difficult to understand that decision because the two cards are….,” Ancelotti, appearing lost for words, said. “Maybe the first one was a foul. I do not know.”
Varane’s fitness situation remains unclear, as he has apparently still not fully recovered from a serious knee injury suffered late last season. In early December, Ancelotti said the young France international was undergoing some further recovery work which would keep him out until after the upcoming winter break.
"[Varane] is working hard on strengthening his knee in order to be ready to play in January,” Ancelotti said then, although that position may now be reconsidered should the Ramos' appeal fail.
Pepe was also yellow carded during Saturday’s game in Pamplona, and now picks up an automatic one-game ban as it was his fifth Primera Division booking of the season.
Ramos has now been sent off 18 times in 371 games for Madrid, while not once being dismissed during 115 caps for Spain.